Annie Leibovitz: biography
Goose wrapped around the neck of a young, not yet an owner of Oscar Leonardo DiCaprio. Whoopi Goldberg in the bath. Her naked figure hides the milk – except for the arms, legs and head. Salma Hayek transformed into Mexican surrealist Frida Kahlo. Jude Law in a boat by the river with a dog, like a Russian teenager on vacation at his grandmother.
All these and many other talented celebrities (politicians, musicians, athletes) are shown through a lens from a different angle by brilliant Annie Leibovitz.
On the second day of October 1949 in Waterbury, Marilyn and Samuel Leibovitz had the third child, and they decided to name that little girl Anna-Lou. Later the family had three more children. The childhood of Annie Leibovitz influenced her future choice of career. The father, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, had to move from one place to another, and his family always went with him. It would seem to be troublesome, but watching the world through a car window, according to relatives, prompted Anna to engage in the art which made her famous all over the world.
To feel, to understand and to create beautiful things came from Annie's mother who was a dance teacher. In her youth, or rather while studying in Northwood High School, she tried herself in music, even tried to compose her own works, as well as engaged in painting. However, The Vietnam War, which led the Leibovitz family in the Philippines, changed everything. It was the place where Anna-Lou discovered a passion for photography.
As for higher education, the later San Francisco Art Institute, after which the student planned to become an art teacher. But once the Institute held a masterclass in photography. After that Annie, inspired by the works of Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson, changed her specialty.
Studying at the 2nd year, she dropped out the Institute and went with her family to Japan, where she bought her first camera Minolta SR-T 101. When Annie came back, she enrolled in evening classes. To develop her creative abilities in a new field, she even went to Israel, where she tried her hand at various professions.
When Leibovitz returned to the United States, she went to the founder of the cult gloss Rolling Stone. He was so impressed by the portfolio that immediately gave the new employee a responsible task to make a portrait of John Lennon. She made a shoot of a disheveled musician, piercing with his glance through thick glasses. It was chosen for the cover of the issue of the magazine from January 12, 1971.
When the magazine moved to color photographs, Annie had to study independently new technologies, which perhaps allowed her to find her own unique art style. In 1975, she was the official photographer of the legendary Rolling Stones in their Tour of the Americas.
On December 8, 1980, John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono planned a photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz.
Annie later said in an interview:
"It was 1980, and he had just finished the album Double Fantasy with Yoko. I had seen the cover, which was both of them kissing. And I thought, Oh my gosh. This was the 1980s—romance was a little dead. And I was so moved by that kiss. There was so much in that simple picture of a kiss."
Before the photo shoot, Lennon shocked his friend. He suddenly decided to get a haircut without saying about it to her and explained the decision by the fact that he had worn long hair since The Beatles. Then she was struck by the couple's decision to pose together as the editors were only interested in an individual picture of John Lennon. Annie, not wanting to undermine the trust of her friends, gave in and invited them to undress and hug.
The man took off his clothes with lightning speed, but his wife hesitated for some reason. Yoko did not want to pose fully naked have offered to take off only the top, but the photographer decided to keep the shirt on her. By the end, she made the legendary photo, where the famous "ex-Beatle," like a human embryo, cuddled up to his beloved. A few hours later, John Lennon was assassinated by an obsessed fan. 29 years later, the only son Sean decided to repeat the experiment of his parents.
Later in Yoko Ono's book called Memories of John Lennon with the memories of colleagues (Bono, Ray Charles, Mick Jagger), friends and fans were included previously unpublished work. First of all, they include a full photo shoot of Annie Leibovitz.
Annie left Rolling Stones and began working in Vanity Fair, where she showed through the lens naked Demi Moore at the end of pregnancy; Miley Cyrus whose photos caused a mixed reaction of the public, and group portraits of the West family (Kanye, his wife Kim Kardashian and their daughter North). The works of Leibovitz were published in many popular magazines, Vogue (for example, the photo of Natalia Vodianova), Esquire, New Yorker, Time, etc.
The documentary Life through a lens was released in 2006. The movie is focused on the background and portfolio of Annie Leibovitz.
The photographer got to know writer and essayist Susan Sontag in 1998. Since then, the women spent all the time together until Annie’s partner dies in 2004. Publicly, the ladies did not admit to the nature of their relationships as well as demonstrate personal life, but Leibovitz did not hide that they had serious feelings for each other.
"We were two people who helped each other through our lives. The closest word is still 'friend.' Call us 'lovers'. I like 'lovers.' You know, 'lovers' sounds romantic. I want to be perfectly clear. I love Susan," commented the photographer.
Annie has three children, all girls: Sarah Cameron (2001) and Susan and Samuelle, born to a surrogate mother (2005).
Annie Leibovitz now
From October 18, 2018, to January 21, 2019, The Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg) gave the opportunity to Russians to get acquainted personally with the cult works of Leibovitz. Here visitors were provided with a temporary exhibition of photographs presented by the talented photographer.
The photos of Priyanka Chopra and her lover before the wedding made by Leibovitz were published in Vogue – January 2019.
As for social networks, Annie has personal accounts on Facebook and Twitter, which she, however, now uses rarely. Thousands of fans follow the fan account of the photographer on Instagram. Annie Leibovitz made her 20 million dollar net worth with Rolling Stone magazine, The Rolling Stones, Joan Armatrading.